Amidst the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, online grocery shopping has spiked significantly. According to research firm RedSeer Consulting, grocery is the most exciting category online observing over 300 per cent spike in daily order volume in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Consumers are shopping fresh food online, a category that is seeing 400 per cent growth; water and packaged food recording 250% rise; and other packaged goods up 200 per cent.
Since people are spending more time at home, owing to the lockdown in most GCC countries, they are also cooking more, which is driving up grocery sales. In addition, by ordering grocery online, customers are safeguarding against the spread of COVID-19; they only have to sanitise the products once delivered to their doorstep.
Heading into Ramadan, which is normally a peak period for food and grocery retailers, it remains to be seen how online sales perform. Even though hypermarkets, supermarkets and grocery stores are operating in shopping malls and standalone locations, movement restrictions due to lockdown have caused a dip in foot traffic.
In this context, Sandeep Ganediwalla, Managing Partner, RedSeer Consulting opines, “The current COVID-19 situation in MENA is expected to impact initial phases of Ramadan. However, the market is expected to come back to normal by Eid.”
Along with food and grocery, according to RedSeer Consulting, other online categories – including fashion, electronics, homeware, and kitchenware – are expected to benefit during Ramadan, especially driven by lack of offline options.